Thank God for our First Amendment Rights

Sunday, November 27, 2005
I have nothing but contempt for David Irving. He is the one who sued Deborah Lipstadt for allegedly slandering him. Thankfully, she won her case in a British court of law. Irving was irritated that Lipstadt accused him of holocaust denial even though the evidence overwhelming supported her position. Such a matter could not even be heard in the United States. Our First Amendment rights, thankfully, make it extremely difficult to sue. Not so, in Europe and the United Kingdom. At this very moment, the Austrian government has arrested Irving for denying the holocaust:

“In a statement posted on his website, Mr Irving's supporters said he was arrested while on a one-day visit to Vienna, where they said he had been invited "by courageous students to address an ancient university association".

Despite precautions taken by Mr Irving, he was arrested by police who allegedly learned of his visit "by wiretaps or intercepting emails", the statement alleged.”

You can read the Guardian article here.

A few years ago, the great scholar Bernard Lewis was also prosecuted by French authorities for questioning the genocide of the Armenians. When will this nonsense stop? Governments should not be prosecuting people for uttering stupid statements. All of us are placed in harm’s way when this occurs. The free exchange of ideas can readily handle the likes of a David Irving. This is especially true in our modern era because of the Internet. Furthermore, I am convinced that this is perhaps the number one reason why much of Europe and the British Isles may be doomed. Their citizens are fearful of offending the politically correct bureaucrats who truly run their nations. This has resulted in the growing threat of Islamic nihilism. Let us make sure the same thing doesn’t happen in the United States.

11 comments:

Doug said...

From comments at the Belmont Club:

French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut apologizes after death threats
By Daniel Ben-Simon Last Update: 27/11/2005 01:33
[...]
Thursday, after receiving death threats, the philosopher decided to respond and repent. In an extensive interview in Le Monde yesterday, he said he "despised" the man who appeared in the article (in Le Monde). "He is he and I am I. To my shock, since Wednesday, it appears that he and I share the same name."

Finkielkraut, who went out of his way to praise the immigrants, said his original statements had been an attempt to force the political echelon to take responsibility for what was happening in the poor suburbs. "Integration is our obligation," he said.

Following the apology, lawsuits and police complaints were dropped. But even after his apology, one Jewish organization condemned Finkielkraut, calling him the pyromaniac of the Jewish community.

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Remember, however, the first ammendment does not apply in our Universities.

My reply:
dfp,
Maybe Larry Summers of Harvard can consul Finkielkraut on the dangers of too much free speech!
---
to which I add:
Alan Dershowitz:
"sounds like the trial of Galileo. In my 41 years at Harvard, I have never experienced a president more open to debate, disagreement, and dialogue than Larry Summers,"
---
"I would like nothing better than to be proved wrong, because I would like nothing better than for these problems to be addressable simply by everybody understanding what they are, and working very hard to address them," he added.

Over and over in the transcript, he made clear that he might be wrong in his theories, and he challenged researchers to study his propositions.
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He also urged research on "the quality of marginal hires" to the faculty when efforts to diversify are under way. Do these hires, he asked, eventually turn into star professors? Or "plausible compromises" that are not unreasonable additions to the faculty? And "how many of them are what the right-wing critics of all of this suppose represent clear abandonments of quality standards?"
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http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/18/education/18harvard.html?hp&ex=1108789200&en=faa0d908394b896d&ei=5094&partner=homepage
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...Yet lefty commenter Kevin in a later thread berates Horowitz for his Campus Crusade, and me for supporting it!

David Thomson said...

Harvard University is a second rate intellectual institution. It is one of the greatest con jobs played on the American public. Anyone graduating from this so-called educational institution should be greatly ashamed. Often they are nothing more than intellectual sluts. Aren't there some good departments at Harvard deserving of respect? I’m sure that they do exist. However, the overall school is mediocre. The very fact that John Kenneth Galbraith is Harvard’s most famous economic thinker is an outright scandal. Tacitly, its graduates are told to slut on behalf of the liberal establishment---and in return they will be assured of “earning” a large paycheck. The same also holds true for those graduating from Yale and Columbia.

Doug said...

Ah Dave, that's just the Conventional Wisdom tm.

John

David Thomson said...

The intellectual elites must not be violently persecuted. No, their rights are to be respected. We should instead make sure that these folks earn everything they get. The free rides must cease. No longer can they be allowed to pretend that they are above legitimate criticism. I found this on Virginia Postrel’s blog:

“In retrospect, Reagan’s point that the Soviet economy was on life support seems obvious to the point of banality. In fact, that’s one of the arguments his critics use against him: that the Soviet economy would have imploded anyway, even without Reagan’s defense buildup. But that’s not the way foreign policy intellectuals saw it in 1982.

"It is a vulgar mistake to think that most people in Eastern Europe are miserable," declared economist Lester Thurow, adding that the Soviet Union was "a country whose economic achievements bear comparison with those of the United States." (I wonder if Thurow had ever flown on a Soviet airliner?) John Kenneth Galbraith went further, insisting that in many respects the Soviet economy was superior to ours: "In contrast to the Western industrial economies, it makes full use of its manpower."

Arthur Schlesinger, just back from a trip to Moscow in 1982, said Reagan was delusional. "I found more goods in the shops, more food in the markets, more cars on the street -- more of almost everything," he said, adding his contempt for "those in the U.S. who think the Soviet Union is on the verge of economic and social collapse, ready with one small push to go over the brink."”

http://www.dynamist.com/weblog/archives/001131.html

The so-called intellectual elite must be rebukes for its idiocy. They deserve no pity.

terrye said...

david:

George Bush went to Harvard too.

I am not enthralled by the school but I really don't think it is fair to discount the entire institution because of Galbraith.

David Thomson said...

"George Bush went to Harvard too."

This is why I earlier said, "Aren't there some good departments at Harvard deserving of respect? I’m sure that they do exist." George W. Bush was a graduate of Harvard's school of business. It is my understanding that this is a splendid department.

Doug said...

Galbraith is a insightful genius compared to the Black Studies Professor that left in a huff when Summers arrived and asked if he might consider writing a scholarly paper from time to time.
(Took too much time away from his Rap Music, so he left.
That's what HE said.
Truth is he COULDN'T write a scholarly paper if he wanted to.)

Doug said...

A majority of Harvard faculty called for Summer's head, I believe, when he dared posit that men and women are not identical.
Horrors!
Great faculty, that.
Galileo Trial Indeed!

terrye said...

david:

I do have to admit that I don't have the same respect for a lot of these schools that I used to.

I would not get a second mortgage to send my kid to one just so some obnoxious communist who teaches midieval basket weaving could also teach my kid to despise me.

David Thomson said...

“Galbraith is a insightful genius compared to the Black Studies Professor that left in a huff...”

John Kenneth Galbraith is indeed a first rate scholar next to Cornel West. The situation at Harvard has deteriorated over the last twenty years. I am utterly amazed at the reaction towards Larry Summer’s legitimate questions concerning the innate differences between men and women. Harvard is truly in awful shape. The degrees being granted by this institution should be challenged for authenticity. Me thinks that many are purely fraudulent.

Doug said...

Interview w/Thomas Sowell .

Before Blacks were chosen to be stupid:

Here's a nice video interview of Sowell by Fred Barnes.
Tom's looking fit and healthy at 75, ready to do more battle, I'd bet.

Sowell, now 75 years old, was born into poverty in the rural South and raised in Harlem. He was a high school dropout who would eventually graduate Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University, years before affirmative action and the civil rights movement.